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Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Group gets down to carving some pumpkins (10 photos)

Neighbourhood group offers a variety of services and activities for 5,000 families in east Guelph

It’s almost Halloween and Jack-o'-lanterns are all ready to be lit. 

The Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Group (GHENG) hosted it’s second annual Family Pumpkin Carving event on Sunday afternoon.

Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes were up for grabs at the Ken Danby Public School Community Room for families to choose and carve at no cost along with free face painting and sweet treats for kids.

The event brought out many families from the neighbourhood who were eager to get their hands into some pumpkin gunk and create their own spooky creations. 

“It is a great turnout this year. We tried this for the first time last year and that was a success so we thought we would do it again this year,” said Melissa Dale, a member of the Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Committee Leadership Team and is also the group events coordinator. 

The leadership team comes together once a month to make decisions on community issues and needs.

Over 80 pumpkins were available for carving this year, some donated and some discounted by a local market. 

“It’s great to see everyone. We are a very active group and very busy with lots of events and programming throughout the year,” Dale said. 

“And it’s an exciting time for us too because we’ve just hired a new neighbourhood support worker and she will be starting with us soon,” Dale said. 

The Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Group was formed in June 2004 and the goal is to continue to address concerns of residents regarding the community in which they live and to help develop a feeling of community among neighbours. 

It's a community based, non-profit organization which represents about 5,000 families. 

The group is always ready to welcome to new residents, support the community and help make decisions which will ultimately empower people within the neighbourhood. 

GHENG is defined by the boundaries of Victoria Road (west), Eramosa Road (north), City limits (east) and to the railway tracks north of Elizabeth Street (south).

The group offers the neighbourhood a variety of activities, events and camps throughout the year as well as free preschool and school age programming. 

This includes a variety of physical activities such as basketball, ping pong and Community Kids for anyone feeling crafty.

There are also many adult based activities available including Zumba classes.

During the pumpkin carving event, Meghana Oza and her daughter Nupur were excited to see their pumpkin transform. The pair regularly take part in neighbourhood group activities. 

“My daughter loves the March Break and summer camps too,” Meghana said. 

The group also provides a food cupboard for those in need within the community as well as a backpack drive every year.

GHENG is part of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition which consists of a network of neighbourhood groups, sponsoring agencies and program partners. 

Each neighbourhood group operates at the ‘grass roots’ level to meet the needs of children, youth and families that have been identified within the neighbourhood.

Through the Coalition, the neighbourhood groups bring together their collective resources to share information, provide support, distribute available funding resources and advocate for community issues.

With pumpkins complete and faces painted, children could not wait to take their carved creations home. 

“It’s amazing because this event is 100 per cent volunteer run. We couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the volunteers,” Dale said. 

“It’s so much fun. It’s a family event, a time for people in the community to meet and get to know each other.”

For more information regarding GHENG and a list of upcoming activities, visit here.